So far in 2016 I’ve done a lot of thinking (and rethinking) about our curriculum and schedule.  Laynie (my 4th grader) is pushing ahead in Math, and making great strides in Reading, Writing & Spelling.  Some of our curriculum has gotten too easy, and some of it has gotten too difficult for her to work independently.  Yet we keep pushing on!  One thing that has helped us is to get more organized and follow a plan so we can tackle everything we need to do during the day.  I’ve begun using Homeschool Manager to help me out.  I’ll explain how it has begun to help me to visualize our goals and measure our progress.

This review is sponsored by Homeschool Manager.  I am grateful to have been given a chance to try out Homeschool Manager this year with my family, in return for this review.  This review is sponsored and includes affiliate links, yet the thoughts and opinions I write here reflect my true opinions on this product, as always.  This is one of those cool times when you blog that you actually get paid to do what you already love to do anyway.

Homeschool Manager is a software program and app that helps homeschool teachers plan lessons, keep grades and attendance records, print reports and transcripts, and more.  It has helped me in many ways to be more organized and purposeful in my planning, and to manage Laynie’s progress in completing her tasks, in spite of being highly distracted and forgetful myself!

I can see Laynie’s progress immediately, checking in on her tasks completed during the day:

homeschool planning with homeschool manager app

Up until now I’ve been using a paper planner.  I would sit down once a week and record grades and fill in the next week’s lessons.  I loved that method, and it was working.  Now, I have to say, after a couple of weeks using Homeschool Manager, I have found that this online method is a bit quicker (due to the ability to copy and paste assignments from one day or week to the next).It’s also easier for record keeping.  I keep grades in my homeschool (just a personal preference since I was a public school teacher), and I’ve found recording grades to be very convenient with this program.

It’s also easier for record keeping than a paper planner.  I keep grades in my homeschool (just a personal preference since I was a public school teacher), and I’ve found recording grades to be very convenient with this program.  I love how easy it is to remember to check Laynie’s tasks and record her grades.  By putting a note to myself in her schedule when a task needs a recorded grade or needs me to check for completion, I no longer forget to check after her and she doesn’t get to slide by and skip the tasks just because Mom’s distracted (which, um… has happened frequently in the past here, I hate to admit!).  I get a notification on the dashboard that a task needs to be graded, and it’s impossible for me to forget.  That’s a good thing – since I’m so forgetful!  Inputting the grade is a matter of typing then clicking once, and Homeschool Manager does the rest.

As you can see below, Laynie’s overdue tasks are a bit lengthy this week (but we’ve had a snow day, so it’s ok – we’ll catch up eventually).  You can also see that she has a Math test and a Social Studies assignment for which I need to record a grade:

Homeschool Manager makes it possible for my child to be more independent.  Laynie enjoys independence with her learning.  She always has.  So, I love the fact that she can read her assignments on her schedule and complete them in the order she wishes (much like our own “Work Ticket” system we used last year).  Each day I can also see which tasks she has not finished, because they show up as “overdue” on my dashboard.  That’s when I can go to her and see if she needs some extra assistance to get it finished, because perhaps that task is difficult for her to complete independently.  Having her complete the majority of her work with little direction from me makes homeschooling so much easier on me, because I can focus more time on her little brother and sister while she’s doing her own thing.  All that’s required of me is to sit down once a week and fill in her schedule.

I can see how this program is going to be very valuable to me the remainder of this year, and also as I start Kindergarten with Lily next fall.  Homeschooling two children is going to require some impressive feats of planning and scheduling.  I look forward to seeing Laynie’s grade reports as they show me her averages over time in her different subjects.  I am excited about having a clear plan laid out for Lily when she begins Kindergarten.  Homeschool Manager is going to help me meet my goals and measure our progress.

Have you used Homeschool Manager?  What do you think?